Currently Browsing: 2018

‘Ralph Breaks the Internet’ a clever, memorable Disney sequel

From co-screenwriter Pamela Ribon, Disney’s Ralph Breaks the Internet is a fun, thoughtful journey of two colorful arcade game character venturing into the world wide web. Undeniably imaginative and satirical without snark, this sequel to Wreck-It Ralph (2012) is a great addition to Disney’s ever-growing list of decent sequels. (BKP: 4.5/5) Review by Managing Editor […]

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WRITE WHEN YOU GET WORK (2018): Review by FF2 Media

From IMDb: Ruth Duffy is getting by on an assistant’s salary at a pricey school for girls in Manhattan, managing to move beyond the trouble and loss of her teenage years. Jonny Collins is working local jobs near the Throgs Neck Bridge in the Bronx. When they cross paths after years apart, Jonny is as consumed […]

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‘At Eternity’s Gate’ is a Beautiful Tribute to the Life of Vincent van Gogh

Written by Louise Kugelburg, Jean-Claude Carrière and Julian Schnabel, At Eternity’s Gate tells the story of Van Gogh’s final years, spent surrounded by nature in the South of France. A heart-wrenching and breathtakingly vibrant tribute to the chaotic Vincent Van Gogh, this film is masterful from start to finish. (JRL: 4.5/5)   At Eternity’s Gate […]

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Tradition and modernity fuse in ‘Bali: Beats of Paradise’

Bali: Beats of Paradise, directed by Livi Zheng, promotes the traditional Indonesian art of Gamelan music to the western world through the collaboration “Queen of the Hill” between The Voice’s Judith Hill and Nyoman Wenten, a famous Indonesian composer. (BV: 3.5/5) Review by Intern Beatrice Viri In Bali: Beats of Paradise, Judith Hill, the singer […]

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Rowling, Redmayne dive deep in ‘Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald’

In Fantastic Beast: The Crimes of Grindelwald, J.K. Rowling uses her time turner to take us back to the 1920s Wizarding World, when Dumbledore (Jude Law) was still just a professor, long before the names Riddle and Potter appeared on his radar, let alone in his Defense Against the Dark Arts classroom. The Ministry of […]

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‘Heart, Baby’ full of heart but lacking in execution

Boxing gives an incarcerated man the chance at freedom. He chooses love instead. Based on a true story, Heart, Baby depicts life in the Central Tennessee State Penitentiary in the 80s, where men and transgender women of all backgrounds and beliefs struggle to coexist within an unjust prison system and its highly homophobic atmosphere. Writer […]

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WIDOWS take on the job

In writer Gillian Flynn’s latest film Widows, she tells a story of four widows from very different backgrounds in contemporary Chicago. Widows allows women, and women of ethnic minorities, to take power and control in an almost all male action story. (SYJ: 3/5) Review by FF2 Media Intern Sophia Jin   Based in a modern […]

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‘Here and Now’ peers into a woman’s crippling mind

Directed by Fabien Constant and written by Laura Eason, Here and Now follows the day Vivienne (Sarah Jessica Parker), a famous jazz singer, finds out devastating news that will change her life forever. She finds herself having to question her relationships with her family, friends, and even her random Lyft driver as she grapples with […]

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Stellar cast of ‘Lez Bomb’ guesses who’s coming out at dinner

Writer/director Jenna Laurenzo’s new spin on Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner tells the story of a closeted young woman who brings her girlfriend home for Thanksgiving. When her male roommate shows up unannounced, misunderstandings snowball into comedy gold, aided by a stellar supporting cast of Cloris Leachman, Bruce Dern, Deirdre O’Connell, Steve Guttenberg, Elaine Hendrix and Kevin Pollak. (BKP: 4/5)

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‘Liz and the Blue Bird’ teaches us to let go

Naoko Yamada, the critically acclaimed director of A Silent Voice, debuts her second feature animated film Liz and the Blue Bird. Originally a coming-of-age novel series, Sound! Euphonium, Yamada creates a film with subtle brilliance. (SYJ: 3.5/5) Review written by FF2Media Intern Sophia Y. Jin Liz and the Blue Bird is a tale of a […]

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The Long Dumb Road captures comedy, humanity, and fun

The Long Dumb Road (co-written and directed by Hannah Fidell) tracks two absurdly different men on a journey across the country full of twists, dry comedy, and a strikingly odd sense of friendship. (DLH: 3/5) Review by FF2 Intern Dayna Hagewood The film begins with Nat (Tony Revolori) leaving his suburban parents to drive to […]

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Narcissister Bares All In Fascinating Documentary-Drama Hybrid

Brooklyn performance artist Narcissister combines her own stage performance work with graphic animation and her brother’s home videos to explore the nature of her parent’s relationship and familial history as it lives on in her life and work. The result is the fascinating and emotional piece of art documentary, Narcissister Organ Player. (HRM: 5/5) Review […]

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Unconventional ‘The New Romantic’ captures humor of Generation Z

Aspiring journalist and hopeless romantic Blake Conway takes on a new endeavor to preserve her column in her college’s newspaper in director Carly Stone’s The New Romantic – becoming a sugar baby. (BV 3.5/5)

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NUMBER 37 (2018): Review by Katharine Cutler

Number 37 is a chilling reimagining of Hitchcock’s Rear Window, throwing many expectations out the door. Despite beautiful imagery and great acting, the films fails to introduce something different. (KAC: 3/5) Review by FF2 Intern Katharine Cutler Directed by Nosipho Dumisa, Number 37 follows glimpses of life in a crime-ridden neighborhood in Cape Town through […]

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OUTLAW KING (2018): Review by FF2 Media

From IMDb: A true David v. Goliath story of how the great 14th Century Scottish ‘Outlaw King’ Robert The Bruce used cunning and bravery to defeat and repel the much larger and better equipped occupying English army. Outlaw King opens 11/9/18 in NYC. FF2 review coming soon!

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‘Say Her Name’ Honors Sandra Bland and her Fight for the Black Lives Matter Movement

Directed by Kate Davis and David Heilbroner, Say Her Name: The Life and Death of Sandra Bland is a riveting documentary about a young Black woman, Sandra Bland, who is sent to jail for a traffic violation and found hanged in her cell three days later. Say Her Name is a compelling exposee of our […]

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Shevaun Mizrahi’s debut film ‘Distant Constellation’ is a simple kind of sorrow

Shevaun Mizrahi’s debut film Distant Constellation is a nonlinear documentary that paints portraits of seniors living in a retirement facility as they go about their daily lives, while the neighborhood around them is being torn apart and redeveloped. (BV: 3.5/5)

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Nutty ‘Nutcracker’ not quite a Christmas classic

Screenwriter Ashleigh Powell creates a whimsical world in Disney’s The Nutcracker and the Four Realms, a disjointed but entertaining ride through a magical kingdom kids can only dream of. But along with flowers, sweets and snow (what three of the four realms are made up of) comes a lingering evil, which Powell and directors Joe […]

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‘Searching for Ingmar Bergman’ is another take on an overexposed personal history

Searching for Ingmar Bergman by German directors Margarethe von Trotta and Felix Moeller is another attempt to understand the real person behind the legendary name Ingmar Bergman. The Swedish arthouse director is one of the greatest influences on filmmaking to this day, and in light of this, Searching for Ingmar Bergman sets out to interview […]

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‘Border’, a mystical Scandinavian modern fantasy

Based on a short story in a collection of Swedish horror by John Ajvide Lindqvist with the screenplay written by Lindqvist, Isabella Eklöf and director Ali Abbasi, Border (or Gräns in the original Swedish) follows the tale of an unattractive, reclusive woman investigating a crime, in the process discovering who she really is and undergoing […]

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DOVLATOV (2018): Review by FF2 Media

Yulia Tupikina writes a story about one of the Soviet Union’s most popular writers in Dovlatov. The film is in Russian and spent impressive amounts of time and money on production design, so Dovlatov is probably about as close as you can get to how it looked and felt to live in the USSR. However, […]

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‘London Fields’ hardly worth the five-year wait

Writer Roberta Hanley’s adaptation of Martin Amis’ book of the same name falls prey to both the fictional story and the real-life drama behind the scenes. Starring Amber Heard and Billy Bob Thornton (and Johnny Depp — dating itself immensely as production began in fall 2013), this hodgepodge of a mystery thriller is one to skip. (BKP: 2/5)

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In ‘The Long Shadow’, Frances Causey Attempts to Right the Wrongs of her Slave-Owning Ancestors

Written and directed by Frances Causey, The Long Shadow traces the repercussions of America’s “original sin”: slavery. In the film, Causey explores the lesser-known stories and details of the country’s racial history, demonstrating how slavery has cast a “long shadow” over the whole matter. The Long Shadow provides valuable information and a fairly comprehensive review […]

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‘Shirkers’ reconstructs a lost film into an excellent documentary

Shirkers, written and directed by Sandi Tan, is a wonderfully stitched together documentary both recounting and discovering what happened to her film made in Singapore in the early 90s that was stolen by her mentor, Georges Cardona. (DLH: 4.5/5) Review by FF2 Intern Dayna Hagewood *This Review contains a spoiler!* Shirkers is an incredible taking back of […]

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‘Silencio’ stumbles its way through the sci-fi desert

From writer-director Lorena Villarreal, Silencio is a science fiction thriller imbued with an emotional family story, making for a somewhat-unbalanced approach to what could otherwise be an exciting genre film. (GEP: 3.5/5) Review by Contributing Editor Georgiana E. Presecky The repercussions of time travel, mysterious meteorites and old legends are at the center of Villarreal’s […]

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‘Viper Club’ is intimate, informative, and intensely anxiety inducing

Written and directed by Maryam Keshavarz, Viper Club is an intimate look into the life of Helen (Susan Sarandon), a mother struggling to stay positive while waiting for news of her son’s safety in the Middle East. Keshavarz manages to keep the mundanity of life engaging as the anxiety bubbles underneath Helen’s calm facade. Edie Falco and Matt Bomer co-star as members of The Viper Club, an organization determined to bring journalists home safely, no matter the cost. Keshavarz crafts a well-thought-out narrative that depicts the complexity of global policy, journalism, and grief. (MTP: 4.5/5)

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‘Weed the People’ uncovers myths about cannabis

In director Abby Epstein’s documentary Weed the People, she brings an already contentious topic to light—should medicinal cannabis be legalized? It’s fascinating how this age-old plant can still create such controversy in the modern day. (SYJ: 4.5/5) Review by FF2 Media Intern Sophia Y. Jin One of the most upsetting images known to man is the […]

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‘Can You Ever Forgive Me?’ a buzzy showcase for McCarthy

In a dramatic turn for Melissa McCarthy (not the first, but lauded as so), Can You Ever Forgive Me? tells the story of fledgling author Lee Israel and the illegal lengths she went to for extra cash and a sense of purpose. The Marielle Heller-directed drama based on Israel’s memoir of the same name is a no-makeup-Oscar-buzz-generator showcase for McCarthy, but its anti-hero protagonist isn’t much of a protagonist at all. (BKP: 3.5/5)

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New mysterious neighbor brings back memories of old secrets

Change in the Air is a quaint neighborhood drama directed by Dianne Dreyer and written by Audra Gorman. Rachel Brosnahan stars as a secretive lady who moves in to a community of retired elderlies. After an accident occurs, rumours spread about this new neighbor and the mysteries begin to unravel. (KIZJ: 3/5)

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CHARM CITY (2018): Review by FF2 Media

From IMDb: During three years of unparalleled violence in Baltimore, Charm City delivers an unexpectedly candid, observational portrait of those left on the front lines. Opens 10/19 in NYC. FF2 review coming soon!

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